Posts Tagged ‘opeth’

opethI don’t listen to death/black metal anymore. That sort of sucked away the enthusiasm I normally would have had for a concert at IIT; more so for an Opeth concert. It’s nice and all that a prominent Swedish heavy metal band agreed to perform in our city and it’s swell that Opeth plays a pretty decent hybrid of a poor man’s Beethoven and your favourite Norwegian black metal band #22. And I am so glad that so many of you decided to wear that “Opeth” T-Shirt that you bought during one of those sordid weekends in Bangalore.

Everything is so peachy and pear-shaped that it almost breaks my spirit to tell you that the Opeth concert really, really sucked. Forget about the band’s disconnect with the audience, the questionable playlist and the absolutely horrendous crowd behaviour. No, really…I’m willing to look past these fallacies. What really got to me was the way Opeth performed as musicians on stage. I could have so easily mistaken them for your favourite Norwegian black metal band #34. For years I have been reading concert reviews, which spoke in detail about the stunning artistry of their live performances. I even remember reading an article in Metal Hammer that compared Opeth’s live shows to those of Pink Floyd. Instead I got to see a bunch of guys, who dressed like teenagers, looked a bit like CSNY’s obnoxious stepchildren and sounded like your favourite Norwegian black metal band #45.

As for the kids (or adults kidding themselves that a change in attire immediately makes them look five years younger) at the concert, god bless each and every one of you for being completely oblivious to the fact as upper/low middle-class Indians, we are about as heavy metal (it can be used as a verb, you see) as the strands of hair plucked from Willie Nelson’s beard. No matter how unkempt your appearance is or how far you goatee transcends your chin, you are not ‘metal’.

No offence, but you can’t be ‘metal’. You could pretend and perhaps you might even succeed in getting a few guys to believe that bullshit, but deep down inside, you know…you aren’t ‘metal’. Why? It’s like this…because you want that Blackberry that your colleague has…because you pretend to prefer Kill Em All to Black Album just to make sure that your friends think you’re a heavy metal purist …because most of the anger that you channel into your music can be solved by spending a few minutes with Oprah Winfrey…mostly because you just listen to metal to escape clichés.

And waving your cellphones in the air to rebel against the fact that lighters were banned in the auditorium is not metal.

It’s beyond lame.

It’s Nokia’s wet dream. It’s that advertisement that Nokia never paid for because even a bunch of corporate suits sipping cafe mocha thought it was a corny idea to ask 3,000 idiots to wave their phones in the air at a heavy metal concert.

My my, you guys are so fucking metal.

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For the last time, techno should not make you want to dance. Techno is painful. Borderline torturous. Hell, our government should be utilizing it to ward off potential terrorists. As for disco…well, Motown’s coloured folks discovered it. Later, George Clinton and James Brown put it on the radio. Hell, even Tom Jones caught a glimpse or two of it. As for Whomadewho…well, this Denmark-based band whacks it right in the disco balls.

Jose Gonzalez

After hearing Damien Rice’s version of When Doves Cry, I decided to give ‘the hollow acoustic sound’ another go. A few days later, I stumbled upon Jose Gonzalez on YouTube. His rendition of Massive Attack’s Teardrop is awesome. Er…at least good enough to drown memories of post-grunge rockers sitting on barstools, strumming on acoustic guitars and singing about how their dads had too many bills to pay and not enough hugs to give. Forget them. Try this chap.

Dinosaur Jr

During the mid-Eighties, Dinosaur Jr unleashed the alternative rock genre upon unsuspecting masses. In essence, this genre was the next step in the evolution of college rock. Some even took it to be the unholy matrimony between hard rock and punk. Whatever the hell it was, these guys managed to make it sound more intriguing and viscerally edgier than anything else that dared to broadcast itself on MTV. Fiction: Nirvana gave birth to the sonic blueprint that made modern rock music a better alternative to popular music. Fact: Dinosaur Jr’s album You’re Living All Over Me packs more punch than the shotgun that blew Cobain’s head off.


What’s life without a little metal to whip one’s earlobes into frenzy? For nearly five years, I watched as my Panasonic music system got continuously assaulted by the likes of Sepultura, Pantera, Six Feet Under, Sabbath and Crowbar. By the summer of 2000, Radiohead’s OK Computer launched an attack so intensely alarming upon my aural inclinations that I could no longer appreciate bands that preferred ferocity to subtlety. It’s difficult to lug Opeth into the metal category even though they sometimes consciously channel the spirits of black metal legends. But their calmer and more introspective side lets them escape any such classification. Let me just say that Opeth is what heavy metal should hope to evolve into by the next millennium.

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